Chess 2022 – January Exotic Wackos

American Chess Magazine has been launched in November 2016 to help readers keep in touch with all the most significant happenings in the exciting world of present-day chess, both at home and abroad.

I am a subscriber and supporter of the American Chess Magazine. Every couple of months I enjoy reading the latest issue and appreciate the labour of love behind it. I do not know its business model but it must be a solid one. It looks to be going strong since its first issue in November 2016. I am pleasantly surprised of its top notch printed quality and the content is not far behind. It is no surprise that I decided to give their “Chess 2022 Day-to-Day Calendar: A Year of Chess Puzzles” a try.

Having a chess calendar on my office desk for the first time, is an interesting experiment. All the puzzles are White to move and mate in 2. It started with a few simple ones I could solve within one or more minutes. Then, as I started to get comfortable, the puzzles began to get more complicated. I even admit that I could not solve 2 or 3. I have never been more than above average at solving puzzles anyway; however I thought my experience would help me out.

The overwhelming majority of the puzzles are studies from the late 1800s. This aspect makes them more valuable, considering the chess level back in those days. Today I want to share with you a couple of them I decided to call “exotic wackos”. In my opinion the authors went to the extreme in creating something totally unexpected. I will share them first, followed by their solutions. Here you go:

So what do you think? Have you solved any of them? Maybe you solved them both? If you did congratulations. I did not. Honestly I am not sure how to put together an explanation for each one of them either. The pieces are all over the place. My best guess is both authors had a checkmate idea in mind. Then they proceeded to build a labyrinth of false pathways and trap doors all around it. This shows high class skills.

Not all pieces must be on the chess board. This does not diminish in my opinion the complexity of the solution. If you were looking for reasonable moves, probably you have not solved them. The first one is from about mid-month. It gave me the idea to look for wacko moves when the reasonable ones led nowhere. Still the second one from the end of the month went farther down the wacko road. If you want to practice your tactical eye, try all available checkmates after white’s key first move!

Eugen Demian

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Valer Eugen Demian

Author: Valer Eugen Demian

The player – my first serious chess tournament was back in 1974, a little bit late for today’s standards. Over the years I have had the opportunity to play all forms of chess from OTB to postal, email and server chess. The journey as a player brought me a lot of experience and a few titles along the way: FIDE CM (2012), ICCF IM (2001) and one ICCF SIM norm (2004). The instructor – my career as a chess teacher and coach started in 1994 and continues strong. I have been awarded the FIDE Instructor title (2007) for my work and have been blessed with great students reaching the highest levels (CYCC, NAYCCC, Pan-Am, WYCC). I am very proud of them! See my website for more information. I have developed my own chess curriculum on 6 levels based on my overall chess knowledge and hands-on experience. A glimpse of it can be seen in my first chess app:
I can help you learn chess the proper way if this is what you seek! View all posts by Valer Eugen Demian

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